Chapter 21 - Statistics Division

Chapter 21 - Statistics Division

13.2101 Short title.


This Act may be cited as the American Samoa Statistical Act of 2003.

13.2102 Purpose.


This Act is enacted to (1) mandate the collection, tabulation, compilation, publication, and reporting of official statistics; and (2) ensure the accuracy of statistics and efficiency of the statistical system by a comprehensive coordination of statistical activities and realignment of statistical operations in American Samoa.

13.2103 Creation of a Statistics Division—Authorization for coordination of surveys.


(a) There is created, within the Department of Commerce, a Statistics Division to be headed by a Chief of Statistics.

(b) The Statistics Division is authorized to collect, tabulate, compile, analyze, publish and report all official statistics covering social, economic and demographic fields as required for the purpose of making policy decisions; and to carry out the purposes of this Act; and to conduct pertinent censuses and surveys.

(c) Information shall be collected to enable the production of official statistics relating to the following:

(1) population and housing;

(2) health, welfare and moribidity;

(3) law enforcement and the administration of justice;

(4) social and physical environment data;

(5) labor force, employment and unemployment;

(6) accidents and injuries;

(7) income, expenditure and taxation;

(8) land tenure, land use and agriculture;

(9) assets and liabilities;

(10) prices;

(11) trade and financing;

(12) travel and tourism;

(13) communication and transportation;

(14) economic, financial, manufacturing, production and administrative;

(15) all government maintenance and operation programs;

(16) all government capital improvements projects;

(17) canneries and fisheries; and

(18) other related activities.

(d) The Director of the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the Chief of Statistics, may adopt, amend, and repeal rules under the Administrative Procedure Act, A.S.C.A., §§ 4.1001 et seq., governing the collection, tabulation, compilation and publication of official statistics, and all other similar matters which in his judgment shall be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. The rules, when adopted in conformity with A.S.C.A., §§ 4.1001 et seq., have the force and effect of law.

(e) All department and agency heads, government employees, private individuals and businesses required by this Act, or by regulations duly promulgated and adopted by the Department of Commerce, to provide required information, shall inform, submit or provide such information to the Statistics Division without delay.

(f) The Statistics Division is empowered to coordinate all censuses, including American Samoa Government and the United States Federal censuses; the census of Population and Housing; the census of Agriculture; the Census of Economic and any other census as mandated by federal laws.

(g) The Statistics Division is empowered to plan, design and execute various types of statistical surveys that are necessary for compilation and publication of the official statistical system. Any statistical surveys to be conducted by any branch or subdivision of the American Samoa Government shall be approved by the Statistical Advisory Council and coordinated with the Statistics Division prior to undertaking such survey.

(h) The production of official statistics relating to items (1) through (18) in subsection (c) above shall be fully coordinated with the activities engaged in the production of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates. Specifically, (1) the measurement of income, expenditure and taxation must follow NIPA conventions using approved Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) methodology; (2) measurement of prices must follow Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) standards to ensure that price deflation of the NIPA aggregates is valid; (3) measurement of trade and financing must follow NIPA conventions enumerated in the applicable BEA publications on balance of payments; and (4) measurement of economic, financial, manufacturing, production and administrative must be baselined in the quinquennial Economic Census, and geared towards producing value added estimates of GDP.

13.2104 Powers and duties of the Statistics Division.


(a) The Statistics Division is empowered to: (1) collect and provide information required by the American Samoa Government and its subdivisions for policy making and program planning and implementation; and (2) effectively coordinate all phases of statistical activities in American Samoa.

(b) The specific duties of the Statistics Division are;

(1) to make such statistical reports as specified in this Act;

(2) to develop and establish statistical policy matters;

(3) to plan, design, and collect the statistical information specified in this Act;

(4) to compile, analyze, abstract and publish official statistics outlined in this Act;

(5) to coordinate and provide technical assistance as needed for all statistical activities being carried out in other departments or agencies of the American Samoa Government;

(6) to define and establish a statistical standard as a basis for official statistics in American Samoa. For purposes of measuring overall levels of economic activity, the standard will be Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or GDP per capita. For individual well-being, the standard will be personal income per capita;

(7) to make or construct statistical estimates, forecasts, projections, and models as necessary or appropriate. Whenever feasible, such statistical constructs must be based upon NIPA data and constructs;

(8) to plan, design and undertake censuses and surveys specified in this Act;

(9) to examine, evaluate, and interpret any published or unpublished statistical data as it relates to American Samoa;

(10) to plan, design, and undertake statistical education and training through workshops, seminars and conferences for employees of the American Samoa Government, and the public as needed;

(11) to serve as the lead agency statistical matters for American Samoa in contacting and interacting with Federal, State, other Territorial, and local agencies, international and regional organizations, and private organizations and citizens;

(12) to plan, design, and carry out research, field studies, experiments, and such other activities for furthering development of statistical sciences;

(13) with the advice of the Statistical Advisory Council, to decide the procedures and methods employed in the provision of all statistics produced compiled by the Statistics Division, including the extent, form, and timing of statistical publications;

(14) as soon as practicable, but no later than June 30th of each calendar year, to publish an Annual American Samoa Statistical Yearbook covering the range of statistics stated in this Act;

(15) as soon as practicable, to publish other statistical reports, such as unemployment (HHEIS) statistics, and special census and survey reports as timely as possible;

(16) at the discretion of the Chief of Statistics, to undertake other activities relating to statistical activities recommended by the Statistical Advisory Council.

13.2105 Organization and staff of the Statistics Division


(a) The Statistics Division shall consist of at least the following four units: (1) Statistical Planning and Coordination; (2) Population and Social Statistics; (3) Economic Statistics; and (4) Statistical Data and Information Management. The duties and responsibilities of each unit shall be as specified by the Chief of Statistics.

(b) The Statistics Division shall be headed by a Chief of Statistics, appointed by the Director of the Department of Commerce. The Chief shall perform such duties as may be imposed upon him by law, regulations, or directives of the Director of the Department of Commerce.

(c) In addition to such staff as may be required to assist the Statistics Division in performing duties mandated by this Act, and subject to budgetary appropriation, the Department of Commerce may obtain technical advisory services from statisticians, survey specialist and/or computer experts, and employ, as needed, enumerators and interviewers on a part-or full-time basis.

13.2106 Censuses of population and housing and other special censuses.


(a) The Statistics Division shall be the agency responsible to plan, design and undertake the Decennial Censuses of Population and Housing in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of the Census, or the federal agency charged with such responsibilities. In addition to the Decennial Censuses of Population and Housing,--the Statistics Division shall plan, design and undertake the mid-decade censuses of population and housing in American Samoa, on or about April 1st in the years ending with five (5), which is the exact mid-point of the Decennial Censuses. In such undertakings, the Statistics Division may ask and obtain technical and other-assistance from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C., or other agencies.

(b) The Statistics Division is empowered to plan, design and undertake other special censuses, including, but not limited to, Census of Agriculture, Census of Establishments, Industrial Census, Census of Manufacturing, Census of Wholesale and Retail Trade, in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of the Census or other appropriate agencies. In all such undertakings, the Statistics Division is to seek the advice of the Statistical Advisory Council concerning the scope, approach, funding and other requirement of such special censuses.

13.2107 Confidentiality of information.


(a) Every employee of the Statistics Division shall take and subscribe to a statutory declaration t the effect that he or she will faithfully and honestly fulfill his duties as an employee of the Statistics Division in conformity with the requirement of this Act, and will not disclose or make known any information or-statistical data that are acquired under this Act, except as otherwise provided by law. Any information or statistical data that are collected for statistical purposes shall be kept for those purposes, and confidentiality of such information shall be strictly maintained.

(b) Confidential information obtained from individuals, households, organization, and other entities, in the process of compilation of statistical data, shall be treated as such.

(d) Neither the Chief of Statistics nor any other employee of the Statistics Division may, except as otherwise provided by law:

(1) use the information furnished under the provisions of this Act for any purpose other than the statistical purposes for which it was obtained; or

(2) make any publication whereby the data furnished by any particular establishment or individual under this Act can be identified; or

(3) permit anyone, other than the sworn officers and employees of the Statistics Division, to examine the individual reports.

(e) No department, bureau, agency, officer, or employee of the American Samoa Government, except the Director of the Department of Commerce and the Chief of Statistics in carrying out the purposes of this Act, may require, for any reason, copies of census reports or statistical information which have been retained by any establishment or individual. Copies of Census reports and statistical information which have been so retained shall be immune from legal process, and shall not, without the consent of the individual or establishment concerned, be admitted as evidence or used for any purpose in any action, suit or other judicial or-administrative proceeding.

13.2108 Statistical advisory council.


(a) There shall be Statistical Advisory Council established as a consultative body to the Statistics Division on matters of statistical activities. The Council shall also recommend policies, programs and procedures for statistical activities.

(b) The functions of the council shall include:

(1) review of censuses, surveys and compilation of various statistics;

(2) provide assistance with the analysis and evaluation of survey results; and

(3) offer suggestions for the development and improvement of statistics.

(c) The statistical advisory council shall consist of the following members:

Lieutenant Governor (Chairman),

Director of the Office of Program Planning & Budget Development,

Director of the Department of Commerce,

Director of the Department of Health,

Head of the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency,

Director of the Department of Education,

Attorney General,

Secretary of Samoan Affairs,

Director of Port Administration,

Treasurer,

Director of the Office of Women’s Affairs,

President of the Community College of American Samoa,

The District Governors,

One (1) member of the Senate,

One (1) member of the House of Representative,

One (1) representative of the Chamber of Commerce; and

Three (3) members from the private sector appointed by the Governor.

13.2109 Authorization of appropriations.


There is authorized to be appropriated in accordance with budget procedure laws and regulations, out of the Treasury of American Samoa, such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.

13.2110 Procurement of professional services.


The Chief of Statistics, with the approval of the Director of the Department of Commerce, and subject to budgetary appropriation and procurement rules and procedures, shall have authority to contract with educational and other research organizations for the preparation of reports and materials of a similar nature.

13.2111 Penalties.


(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Director of the Department of Commerce, the Chief of Statistics, or any other authorized employee or agent of the Statistics Division, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any statistical collection, census, or survey provided for by this Act, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $200.00.

(b) Whoever, when answering questions authorized for the purposes f carrying out this Act, and under the conditions and circumstances described in subsection (a) of this section, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.00.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no person shall be compelled to disclose information regarding his religious beliefs or membership in a religious body.

(d) Whoever, either directly or indirectly, offers or renders to any officer or employee of the Statistics Division engaged in making an enumeration of population, any suggestion, advice, information or assistance of any kind, with the intent or purpose of causing an inaccurate enumeration of population shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be sentenced accordingly.

(e) Whoever, being the owner, proprietor, manager, superintendent, or agent of any hotel, apartment house, boarding or lodging house, barracks, tenement, or other building, refuses or willfully neglects when requested by the Director of the Department of Commerce, the Chief of Statistics, or their designee, acting under the authority of this Act, to furnish the names of the occupants of such premises, or to give free ingress and egress therefrom to any duly accredited representative of the Director of the Chief of Statistics, so as to permit the collection of statistics as provided for in this Act, or any survey being taken or made, the proper and correct enumeration of all persons having their usual place of abode in such premises, shall be fined not more than $500.00.

(f) Whoever, being the owner, official, agent, person in charge, or assistant to the person in charge, of any company, business, institution, establishment, religious body or organization of any nature whatsoever, neglects or refuses when requested by the Statistics Division, or authorized agent thereof, to answer completely and correctly to the best of his knowledge all questions relating to his company, business, institution, establishment, religious body, or other organization, or to records or statistics in his official custody, contained on any census or other schedule or questionnaire prepared and submitted to him under the authority of this law, shall be fined not more than $500.00 per day that he neglects or refuses to answer such request completely and correctly; and if he willfully gives a false answer to any such question, he shall be guilty of a class D felony and upon conviction shall be sentenced accordingly.

(g) Whoever, being an employee of the Statistics Division and having taken and subscribed to the oath of office in accordance with this Act, neglects or refuses, without justifiable cause, to perform the duties required of such employee by this Act shall be fined not more than $500.00.

(h) Whoever, being an officer, agent, or employee referred to in this Act, willfully and knowingly swears or affirms falsely as to the truth of any statement required to be made or subscribed by him under oath by or under authority of this Act, shall be guilty of perjury, a class D felony under this Act, and upon conviction shall be sentenced accordingly.

(i) Whoever, being an officer or employee referred to in this Act (1) willfully and knowingly makes a false certificate or fictitious return; or (2) knowingly or willingly furnishes or causes to be furnished, or, having been such an officer or employee, knowingly or willfully furnished or caused to be furnished, directly or indirectly, to the Director of the Department of Commerce, the Chief of Statistics, or to any other officer or employee of the Department of Commerce, any false statement or false information with reference to any inquiry for which he was authorized and required to collect information provided for this Act, shall be guilty of a class D felony and upon conviction shall be sentenced accordingly.

(j) Whoever, being or having been an employee or staff member referred to in this Act, having taken and subscribed the oath of office, publishes or communicates any information, the disclosure of which is prohibited by the provisions of this Act, and which comes into his possession by reason of his being employed (or otherwise provided services) under the provisions of this Act, shall be guilty of a class D felony and upon conviction shall be sentenced accordingly.

(k) The Director of the Department of Commerce is authorized to assess, impose and

collect the fines provided for in this section, excluding those which may be assessed in conjunction with sentencing for a conviction of a misdemeanor or felony under this section. Imposition of those fines imposed by the Director of the Department of Commerce may be appealed to the Administrative Law Judge.

13.2112 Administrative penalties.


(a) No civil or criminal penalties pursuant to the foregoing provisions shall attach, unless the Director of the Department of Commerce has reviewed the facts surrounding the possible infraction, and has assessed an administrative remedy, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, A.S.C.A., §4.1001, et. seq.

(b) In certain cases, where the facts reveal a knowing or willful act on the part of the charged party, to mislead the Director of the Department of Commerce, the Chief of Statistics, or an authorized agent of the Statistics Division in verbal or written responses to questions posed by any of the foregoing parties, in order to evade process or prosecution for a crime under the laws of the Territory, or to hinder an ongoing investigation or prosecution of a crime under the laws of the Territory, or for any pecuniary gain, the Director may forego an administrative review under subparagraph (a) of this provision, and forward directly to the Commissioner of Public Safety and/or the Attorney General, copies of all information on file regarding the possible violation.

(c) In addition to any penalty or liability under other law or provisions of this Act, whoever, being or having been an officer, employee or staff member referred to in this Act, violates the provisions of this Act while being employed by the American Samoa Government (or otherwise providing services thereto), shall be subject to appropriate administrative disciplinary actions, including, when circumstances warrant, suspension from duty without pay, or removal from office.

(d) Administrative penalties imposed pursuant to this section may be appealed to the Administrative Law Judge.